Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 17, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Gounardes Carries MTA ADA Bill In The Senate

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) introduced legislation in the Senate this week which would establish clear accessibility requirements for New York’s subway system and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

The measure would establish clear targets for the MTA, long maligned for historic intransigence towards making New York City’s subway system accessible to those with disabilities and other mobility limitations, to improve its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the MTA was required by legal settlement to develop the 100 Key Station Plan which is scheduled to be completed as part of the current 2015-2019 capital program. However, there has not yet been an approved plan to continue adding accessibility features such as elevators in the remaining 75% of inaccessible subway stations. Currently, fewer than 25% of the 472 subway stations in New York City are fully compliant with ADA requirements which limits the trip making capacity of people who require elevators to use the subway.

The proposed legislation would codify Fast Forward goals of:

  • Full accessibility at 50 stations within the next five years (2020-2024 capital plan)
  • Full accessibility at 130 additional stations in the following five years (2025-2029 capital plan)
  • Maximum possible accessibility at all stations within fifteen years (by 2034)
  • Accelerating installation of platform accessibility features, including tactile strips and reducing platform gaps
  • Revising maintenance practices to provide continuous, uninterrupted elevator service during all passenger service hours
  • Ensuring real-time data at all elevators, whether publicly or privately owned

“New Yorkers deserve nothing less than a transit system that is completely, 100% accessible. Currently, none of the stations in my district have an accessible entrance. While I’m encouraged by the attention that the new leadership at the MTA has given to accessibility issues, we can and must do more. This legislation will codify the ambitious goals of the Fast Forward plan and ensure that no New Yorker is deprived access to our mass transit system because of a lack of access,” said Gounardes.

Carroll To Host First Annual Answer Fair This Sunday

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park) on Sunday will host his first annual Answer Fair.

Representatives from 42 state and city agencies, organizations, and service providers will be on hand to answer questions from the public. In addition, free rain barrels, free document shredding sponsored by AARP, and free mammogram signups will be offered (call the office to reserve your rain barrel, as numbers are limited).

“I am excited to host the first annual answer fair on May 19th. Constituents will have a unique opportunity to ask questions, gather information, and find assistance from a wide variety of city and state agencies and service providers, and I will be on-hand to answer questions directly,” said Carroll

The Answer Fair is slated for 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., this Sunday, May 19 at The Parkside School PS 130, 713 Caton Avenue (between East 7th and 8th Streets) in Windsor Terrace. To reserve a rain barrel, call Assemblymember Robert Carroll’s office at 718-788-7221 or email

Rose Secures Language In Funding Bill To Assist Veterans With Transportation

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), following feedback from local veterans concerned with a lack of transportation options, helped secure language in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) VA funding bill to prioritize transportation assistance for veterans.

Rose a U.S. Army combat veteran, holds regular meetings with local veterans, and an issue that is continually brought up are issues surrounding transportation to the VA.

“Our veterans often have to wait far too long for appointments already, they shouldn’t have to wait just to be able to get to their nearest VA facility too,” said Rose, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “I’ve heard consistently from local veterans that one of their biggest challenges with our local VA is getting there, not having adequate or affordable transportation options. That’s why I’m proud to see the Appropriations Committee include my language to push the VA to address this issue.”

The House Committee on Appropriations recently passed a funding bill that includes Rose’s language for the VA to, “prioritize transportation assistance for veterans who live in both rural and urban areas.”

Brooklyn Lawmakers Push For Rent And Tenant Protection Laws

State Senator Brian Kavanagh
State Senator Brian Kavanagh
State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Senators Brian Kavanagh (D-Lower Manhattan, Northwestern Brooklyn) and Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park), yesterday, ahead of a major public hearing on rent regulation and tenant protections at the Ebbets Field Apartments in Central Brooklyn, called for the state to pass comprehensive rent reform to address the affordable housing crisis.

Joining Kavanagh and Myrie in support of a package of bill relating to rent regulation and tenant protections were Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick, Williamsburgh), and Assembly Members Diana C. Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush) and Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights).

“My Senate colleagues and I are working hard every day to enact the best possible legislation to dramatically strengthen the laws that regulate rent and protect tenants, and close loopholes that have been exploited by shady landlords. We appreciate the urgency of this moment for the tenants who have been fighting for years for their families and their communities,” said Kavanagh.

“Our communities have lost hundreds of thousands of rent-regulated units over the past two decades and we have a once-in-a generation opportunity to fight and get those back. Too many bad landlords have gotten away with charging sky-high rents and making record profits while their buildings fall apart and their tenants struggle to feed their families. This is not just a housing crisis, but a moral crisis,” said Myrie.

Julia Salazar
State Sen. Julia Salazar
Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Salazar said the city and borough face an escalating homelessness crisis caused by the greed and influence of the real estate industry.

“Our communities have had enough of being disenfranchised and displaced. We need to say loud and clear that in New York State, housing is a human right, not an investment vehicle for the wealthy. We need to pass all 9 bills in the housing justice for all coalition program as a start towards redressing decades of biased and imbalanced policy. I thank Senator Myrie and Senator Kavanagh for bringing this discussion to Brooklyn, where communities that have been affected most can make their voices heard,” she said.

Richardson called housing is a human right, and that tenants are ready to stand up for that right.

“As leaders in the New York State legislature, we have heard the tenants and we are taking action. This is the year of the tenant, and I am telling you, we will not lose this fight,” said Richardson.

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Mosley said for far too long, corporate interests and landlords have thrived off the back of working-class New Yorkers all across our state who have been fighting for their survival.

“We have an opportunity to establish desperately needed reforms that will protect and strengthen affordable housing and rent regulations while correcting decades of systemic erosion of tenant protections. We cannot afford to let it slip through our fingers; the time has come to seize our historic chance to deliver housing justice for millions of renters across the state,” said Mosley.

Bay Ridge Democrats Hold Spring Gala